When Milo & Olive opened in Santa Monica nine years ago, the restaurant quickly became a destination for Zoe Nathan’s baked goods and pizzas. Most craveable were her garlic knots — a tangle of pizza dough the size of a softball, tied around an impressive number of cloves of confit garlic, and drenched with garlic oil. It was like the utopian ideal of garlic bread.
“Zoe was tinkering,” said her husband and partner, Josh Loeb. “I’m like, that’s crazy. We’re selling a ton of pizza; the last thing someone wants is to load up.”
“But then I thought Saturday morning breakfast was a bad idea,” he said, tacitly acknowledging the restaurant’s successful brunches. “Shows you who knows.”
These days the knots — which Nathan described as “intense” — are available for takeout, delivery and, like Milo & Olive’s make-at-home pizza kits, in take-and-bake form.
But now that we’re all shut in with our sourdough starters or pre-made pizza dough from that insanely long line at Trader Joe’s, why not bake your own?
It works with any basic pizza dough, either homemade or purchased. The trick is to be generous with the garlic oil, both before and after the baking (toss any leftover oil with pasta or serve with crusty, warm bread). The knots are terrific eaten with tomato sauce or alone with more garlic oil.